Disrespecting the diversity of peers

May 3rd, 2007

The other day, I read that Satan was apparently pro-choice. Frankly, up until that point, I didn’t know Satan had a stance on abortion. Boy, was I wrong!
Aside from learning that interesting piece of information, I also learned several other ideas through chalked messages on the sidewalks and signs on the Quad. These ideas included how the people involved with the Right to Life group on campus felt towards abortion and anyone who was pro-choice for that matter.
Not only were the messages vicious and distasteful, but they were discriminatory towards anyone who did not share the same beliefs.
For the first time in my college experience, I was actually offended by the length that this group went to preach their opinion.
Although John Carroll University is a Jesuit school built on Catholic fundamentals, it is one of the few Catholic college institutions that is extremely open to all types of beliefs and opinions.
It was surprising to see a group on campus that is more concerned about preaching its viewpoint rather than express its concern for a certain topic or educating peers. The Right to Life group failed to follow its own commitment of compassion and understanding.
Although a message of apology went out in the campus Webmail the following day, I can’t help but to think of the hundreds of students who were left feeling offended by the previous day’s events. Not only were pro-choice students upset by these actions, but other pro-life students were as well. An apology doesn’t excuse hateful words, especially in today’s society. Words can be a powerful weapon, that, when used improperly, can cause more harm than good.
Abortion is an incredibly serious topic that many young adults struggle with. It’s hard enough to figure out where one stands on the issue, let alone be subjected to such harsh, opinionated words from their peers.
I understand that the JCU community is filled with diverse students whose beliefs and morals vary. However, JCU is also an establishment that condones the acceptance of diversity on all levels.
Whether it’s politics, religion or social issues, students should be able to differ and educate one another. Being pro-choice doesn’t make you any less of a human being than someone who is pro-life. Being an atheist doesn’t make you any less of a person than someone who is a strict Protestant. Being liberal instead of conservative doesn’t mean you’re going to hell.
I am deeply dismayed at the students who failed to consider other people’s beliefs while making those signs or writing those vile words on the sidewalks. Aside from these students, this message applies to any and all groups/clubs whose focus is on a specific viewpoint.
It’s okay to feel adament about a certain topic, but it’s inexcusable to belittle others in expressing your own opinion. Even though you don’t have to agree with people’s opinions, you should respect them.
Lack of respect is fueled only by ignorance and the inability to understand and accept things that are different from your own thoug